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Weekends With Alex Witt

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America 12, Obama 9, Us 8, Libya 5, Alex Witt 4, Washington 4, Pakistan 4, Wisconsin 3, Paul Ryan 3, Afghanistan 3, Benghazi 3, Colorado 3, Kansas City 3, North Carolina 3, John Kerry 2, Jack Jacobs 2, Ann Romney 2, Chris Matthews 2, Abc 2, Delta 2,
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  MSNBC    Weekends With Alex Witt    News  News/Business.  
   Live news coverage. New.  

    September 22, 2012
    4:00 - 4:59am PDT  

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this is underexploited. there is a hunger for this. this is not just a big deal for the country. america thinks this is a big deal. to every politician who has been ignoring this issue, well, i'm here to tell you have to deal with that populist reality. as much as you have to deal with how to look at yourself in the mirror every morning. that does it for us tonight. we will see you again monday night. "weekends with alex witt" starts right now. mitt romney's full 2011 tax release, it's out. why now and what's in it? plus, does this move raise more questions than it answers? badger state strategy. the president heading to wisconsin for a campaign stop today. do the latest polls make it more attractive for the obama campaign? and on the upswing, new data showing american are on the move again. and what that means for the economy and our three big money headlines. speaking of on the move, members of congress going home and not coming back to conduct
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the people's business until after the november election. what does that mean for the fiscal cliff? hi, great to have you with me. welcome to "weekends with alex witt," i'm thomas roberts. alex has the day off. here's what's happening as we start out 45 days and counting. today new questions about mitt romney's taxes after going public with his full 2011 return. he released those returns late friday. a document dump if you will. and also provided a certified summary of his tax returns over a two-decade period prior to 2010. for 2011, the romneys paid an effective tax rate of 14. % on income of about $13.7 million. mitt and ann romney also donated about $4 million to charity. the romney camp also says the former governor paid an average annual tax rate of about 20.2% between 1990 and 2009. that's in that summary document. meanwhile, at a rally in virginia, president obama defended his remarks about changing washington from the outside and attacked his
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opponent. >> now for some reason, my opponent got really excited. [ laughter ] >> we wrote a speech real quick. he stood up at a rally, proudly declared, "i'll get the job done from the inside." what kind of inside job is he talking about? [ applause ] >> romney struck the inside-out theme as well in las vegas. take a look. >> he all raised the white flag of surrender again just this week. he indicated that he can't fix washington from the inside. it can only be fixed if the outside, he said. that's great because he's going to get that chance in a moment to be able to fix it from -- [ applause ] >> all right. let's dig in over your saturday coffee. joining me white house reporter for the "washington post," david nakimora, white house correspondent for "the hill," amy parns.
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david, let's start with you and the tax issue here. with mitt romney releasing the 2011 tax returns, does this settle the issue, or does it just open a new can of worms for people to talk about here because he overpaid basically? >> thomas, that is an interesting wrinkle. he could have paid as low as 10.5%. and says you recall, he said on the campaign trail that he would not pay one dime more. he would pay what he owed but not more. he did not take the full deduction on charitable contributions when were, norms at $4 million -- that were enormous at $4 million. he did not take the full amount because he said publicly he did not pay lower than 13%. they wanted to make sure they were consistent with that. i think that the romney campaign did a classic friday night news dump trying to get this out of the way over the weekend. well enough before the debates. >> sure. >> the obama campaign already this morning is out with a new ad, online ad saying, you know, what else is mitt hiding, he's not done enough. his own father has -- and president obama when he was running have released more
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detailed tax return from the past. so they're going to keep on it. the same ad talks about the swiss bank accounts and investments in the cayman islands to make romney look distant from the ordinary american who might think his deductions are exotic and things like that. >> also when we talk about this, and you reference the percentage, figure he gave about what he said he paid in an annual tax rate. he also gave the interview to abc news over the summertime where he said if i overpaid, i should be -- i'm unqualified. if i overpaid my taxes -- to be period. how does the romney campaign not know what's out there and what they're going to did with these tax documents? they know there's going to be a big misfire of not being able to meet up with these statements. >> well, absolutely. and this is another thing -- also said before he picked paul ryan that, you know, having business background of a prerequisites to being president. then he picked paul ryan who does not. he was a congressman at a young
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age and spent most of his life in public service. the question is whether this could hurt romney even with his own base that says, you know, why are you overpaying taxes to make a political point here. at the same time, had he paid less at a time when people are hurting and saying -- obama saying, hey, wealthy folks don't need these breaks, this plays to obama's hands. this is what the president's been saying all along. >> the romney camp was able to get ten years of paul ryan's tax returns. only two from mitt romney. amy, as we count down, we're 11 days from the first debates. the tax release obviously is going to come up there. but is this strategically smart? because the romney camp needs the debates to be the only story basically if they expect to gain any ground. kind of get everything out of the way leading up to it and really have, you know, nothing coming out of the woodwork as they get into those. he can shine. >> right. yes. and yesterday you did hear a lot of griping from republicans. i heard from a few myself. they were saying why did this happen today. this came on the heels of this
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47% that governor romney has had to defend all week. he's been reacting to the news instead of making news, making news in the right way. i think what they need to do now is they need to pivot back to the economy. they haven't been able to do that since the convention. i think that you'll start seeing that. that's probably why they released their documents on friday. they hope to have a fresh start on monday. i think you'll see that in that campaign. >> as we talk about the fresh start, david, this inside/outside washington debate that we see mitt romney talking in vegas saying the president's doubling down on this white flag of surrender, and the president doing the same thing at his rally, talking about this in the narrative itself. does it resonate the sniping that's going back and forth? >> i think that the public probably agrees with the idea that these folks in washington have had trouble changing it. i think both on capitol hill and the white house, there's been frustration with the pace of what's happened, especially in the last year or so. and i -- i think that, you know, the line from romney is a good one in the sense that it -- it
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tries to attempt to sort of cut into obama's brand. this guy who was going to come and promise change. i don't know how much it will register down the stretch in terms of how voters, you know, make up their mind. i think people recognize that government's gridlocked. obama himself talks about, says hey, it's up to the voters to send the message, to break that deadlock, the stalemate the president talks about. i think both sides are looking at it. that's their hope that after this election that it gives momentum to whichever side wins to get some stuff done. >> amie, isn't the tough part for the romney campaign when they come out of the gate trigger happy so to speak and go after the president on something, and then the president obama campaign from their opposition research can release basically a verbatof the statement that mitt romney made. doesn't that disqualify him from dumping on the president basically about his own statements? it negates them. >> it does. but you saw the president sort of stand by his remarks yesterday. he -- in his remarks, he
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basically said, you know, if this is -- if this is an outsider, we don't want this. we don't want this guy who's going to rely on energy companies to make our laws. so i think that he stood by his comments. he kind of made -- kind of pivoted on romney and made romney look bad in that way. >> amie, david, thank you very much. i appreciate you joining us this morning. >> thanks a lot. more front page politics and the government shutdown avoided for now. the senate finalized a stopgap budget measure before adjourning after midnight. the house adjourned on friday. the earliest before an election. no progress made on preventing this so-called fiscal cliff. no farm bill either. members aren't going to return until after the november election. early in absentee voting begins in several states including the key battleground states of new hampshire, north carolina, and virginia. and ann romney is safe after the plane that she was flying in made an emergency landing in denver on friday. an apparent electrical fire caused the cabin to fill with smoke. no one was injured.
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today, the death toll has reached at least 20 people killed in pakistan during an angry demonstration against the youtube video that mocks islam. there were deadly clashes across pakistan, and this is the highest one-day death toll since the protests began after september 11. the pakistani government had declared a holiday to allow for what officials said should be peaceful protesting. joining me is colonel jack jacobs, congressional medal of honor recipient and more than military analyst. jack, good to have you here. as we talk more about this, the government of pakistan declaring a holiday for peaceful protests. smart move on their part to do this? i mean, is that just them trying to allow people to vent but calling for calm at the same time? >> if they were trying to keep things quiet, they did exactly the wrong thing. declaring a holiday and saying it was in honor of the prophet mohammed, on a friday when you
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know imams will permits more people into the streets than otherwise would have, that was a stupid thing. it enflamed the situation. the crowds were not nearly as big as they could have been. but they were highly destructive. there was a lot of death and destruction. >> as you talk about the fact that the imams might be encouraging this, we've seen this on other friday call to prayer days. this is not spontaneous activity. this is organized. from leadership, religious leadership. >> yeah. some of it was spontaneous. a lot of people were enflamed and went into the streets. quite a few, as a matter of fact, went home, knew that things were going to get difficult in the streets and went home to try to avoid it. but those attacks, the people killed and hurt, the -- destin still -- definitely instigated by terrorist groups already banned by the pakistani government. >> meanwhile there's still the investigation going into the
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loss of ambassador chris stevens, three other americans killed in the september 11 attack in benghazi, on the diplomatic compound there. the white house has come out to affirm that this is a terrorist attack, correct? >> yeah. it absolutely is a terrorist attack. we know the organization, organizations involved. there was no doubt about the fact that the attack on the consulate was planned and organized in advance. it had all the earmarks of a preplanned assault. weapons like mortars used in conjunction with small arms, automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades, launched in conjunction with one another, looked exactly like a preplanned attack. >> here's where we need to separate, though -- we talk about this movie that was made in america, you know, defaming the prophet mohammed. there were spontaneous reactions to that. the libyan situation with the death of the four americans is totally separate although it was compounded because of those things happening at the same time. >> i think the assault on the
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consulate and what took place in libya were the least of all the riots and conflagration that took place around the muslim world, the least associated with that video. most of the violence that took place was instigated by rival organizations who were fighting for turf in the -- in eastern libya. and what happened today is that earlier today is that some of the people in those areas have rebelled against those terrorists and have cleaned out their headquarters. assaulted them and burned them down. this is an ongoing revolution inside libya. >> colonel jake jack objects, thanks. good to see -- jack jacobs. thanks. good to see you. new numbers showing the economy has bottomed out. there nowhere to go but up? plus, chris matthews on bill mahr on the definition of success in mitt romney's eyes. [ male announcer ] let's say you need to take care of legal matters.
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a pretty shot this morning. new york city feeling like fall for sure. crisp out there. fall officially begins later this morning. how's the day going to shape up across the rest of the country? nbc meteorologist dylan dreyer is here with what we can expect. good morning. >> we are see something chilly temperatures across the dakotas now. temperatures down in the 30s. we have frost advisories, freeze warning in those areas. but across the east coast, we're actually focusing more on rain today. we are going to see a line of
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showers and thunderstorms moving through western new york, western pennsylvania. it could give us some potential for stronger storms around the northeast rarilater this aftern and evening. we have tropical moisture through florida. high pressure builds into the middle of the country where it is still dry. kansas city, though, a little cool, a little fall-like for this first official day of fall. 65 degrees in kansas city. minneapolis, though, only in the 50s today. certainly feeling like fall out that way. the west coast, foggy through seattle, temperatures in the lower 60s. into sunday, 70 again up into boston. we are looking at more scattered showers and storms through florida. 59 degrees in chicago. so that cooler air certainly moving into the northern tier of the country. 67, though, on sunday in kansas city. dallas, the rest of texas looking hot. we should top out in the upper 80s and lower 90s. we're still looking at very dry conditions through the northern plains and still have the potential for those dry conditions to spark some wildfires and perhaps spread
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easily. a little breezy out that way, as well. thomas? >> thank you very much. new today, republican presidential candidate mitt romney is in california for fundraising events in hopes of regaining the lead in the all-important campaign cash category. taking center stage, more questions from last night's release of his 2011 income tax returns. nbc's peter alexander is in san francisco traveling with mitt romney. an early good morning. bring us up to speed on what we can expect on the trail today? >> reporter: thomas, the romney campaign insists that its friday document dump, as we in the business refer to this, put out the tax returns on a friday where fewer people were paying attention, is not politically motivated. they say it was done that day because they were done. nonetheless, they're trying to put to bed the issue that they fear could raise more nasty headlines as we get closer to the election. now barely six weeks away, and every day is critical for a campaign that acknowledges it's
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been spending too much time on the defensive when it needs to go on offense against the president. the attack recently that mitt romney has been using is attacking the president, saying he has failed to deliver that hope and change that he promised. pouncing on words that we used in a univirgz forum this week. as for the tax returns, they indicate that the romneys paid roughly $2 million in federal income taxes in 2011 on nearly $14 million in income, largely from investments for a total tax rate of about 14.1%. to give you a sense, the average middle-class family, say you make between $50,000 and $75,000 a year, would pay roughly 13%. thomas? >> is there a real concern as they head toward the debate? over the summer from abc news, we have that interview with mitt romney sitting down where he was asked about his taxes. he said if -- if i overpay my taxes, i'm not qualified to be president. he gave the statement where he said that he has effectively paid at 13%.
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and now he's come out paying roughly 14.1% at a tax rate. he's -- he's overpaid for the income that he's taken in. he hasn't worked since the late '90s. the income he's made off of his investments. >> reporter: you're right. the jist is that he said americans shouldn't vote for anybody, they wouldn't be qualified to be president if they paid the government more than they owed. he did pay more than he owed. he didn't write off, didn't take deduction, almost $2 million that he would have entitled to. they jackpacknowledged that bec he wanted to keep another campaign pledge, which is that he never paid under 13% in the last ten years. so they argue that, hey, you know what, he is doing a good deed. he's given a lot of money to charity, worth noting, he gave $4 million to charity in 2011. $3 million of it to the mormon church. and frankly, they hope to put this to bed. obviously their opponents are going to try to continue to stir it up going forward. >> here's the thing, though. if you are posting your tax
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releases and having your tax accountant do this work to match up the 13%, why not get them to match up the 13%? why come -- why come in at 14.1%? again, this is about the charitable donations where he gave $4 million in charitable donations which was certainly -- that's awesome. but they only took 2.2 -- right? 2.25 in tax -- >> reporter: about that. yeah. to be honest with you, this are about more than 1,000 page of documents that landed on most of our laps yesterday. not all of which i can memorize in complete detail -- >> what? you didn't memorize these? >> reporter: the jist is -- hey, it's 6:00 in the morning. by 7:00, i will have this down pat, i guarantee. is it already 7:00? i can't see straight -- >> 7:21. we'll give you plenty of time. you're three hours behind us. >> reporter: 7:21? i appreciate it. we'll get a for in after we finish chatting. i think their jist is they hope
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they can put to bed the one -- the worst series of the week. from egypt and libya to the poll numbers increasingly showing romney behind, down % according to the -- 8% according to the latest nbc news/maris poll. and of course the release of the hidden video tape that even folks within the campaign -- an adviser close to the campaign said, that threw us off. it was an unforced error, as they describe it. a self-inflicted wound. they're hoping they can kind of dump everything out in one week and focus on their economic message and get back on offense going forward. >> peter alexander with the romney campaign in san francisco. thanks, buddy. appreciate it. in today's "one-minute playback," governor romney's comment about the 47% became a big top activity "real time with bill maher." he was joined by "hardball" host chris matthews and talk show
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host roger hedgecock. >> he want to raise the taxes on the rich because you're rich. >> he wants to raise -- the demeaning is this, your guy's the worst i've seen anybody. this definition of success is rich. now, how about a high school teacher busts her hump or his hump and becomes 34 years becoming the best teacher in town and makes $70 a year. is that a success? >> yes, it is. >> all know -- >> it is -- >> he's taking. having money redistributed to him or her. she's taking -- a victim. she's taking the money from the rich people who pay their taxes. it's true of everybody. the soldier who gets killed, is he a success? is -- he puts his life on the line in afghanistan. is he a success? this totally focuses on money is this guy's problem. people were turned off to it. turned off to his attitude toward anybody who doesn't have money. up the ante. and if you stumble, you get back up. up isn't easy, and we ought to know. we're in the business of up.
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oh, hey alex. just picking up some, brochures, posters copies of my acceptance speech. great! it's always good to have a backup plan, in case i get hit by a meteor. wow, your hair looks great. didn't realize they did photoshop here.
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hey, good call on those mugs. can't let 'em see what you're drinking. you know, i'm glad we're both running a nice, clean race. no need to get nasty. here's your "honk if you had an affair with taylor" yard sign. looks good. [ male announcer ] fedex office. now save 50% on banners. [ male announcer ] isn't always the one you plan to take. whoa, check it out. hey baby goat... no that's not yours... [ hikers whispering ] ...that's not yours. [ goat bleats ] na, na, na -- no! [ male announcer ] now you can take a photo right from video, so you'll never miss the perfect shot. [ hikers laughing, commenting ] at&t introduces the htc one x. now $99.99. rethink possible. in today's "tech watch,"
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research is n motion is investigating what caused a service outage for blackberry user in europe and africa. happened on friday, was fixed after several hours. now outage came as customers are abandoning their blackberries for flashier iphones and android phone products. now to our big three money headlines. has the economy bottomed out? the iphone 5 frenzy, and hot holiday gifts. joining me on the retail and economy analyst, good to have you here. not such good news for research in motion to have that problem on the same day that the iphone 5 comes out. we'll talk about that in a second. let's get to -- >> research not in motion. >> research not in motion. yeah. not for people -- especially me who is old school blackberry. but the economy being considered fragile right now but moving in the right direction. what the biggest concerns as we're in this tentative stage? >> economists are saying that it really has to do with government policies. what's going to happen come january in those elections. but the census data that came out on thursday was saying that
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a lot more movement is coming with the younger adult population. they're taking more chances, moving across the country. they're going back to college. about 5.6 million young adults, and this is -- adults between the ages of 25 to 34, still live at home. that's 13.6%, and that's down from 14.2%. now also that data was saying that unemployment came down. in 2011, it was at 9.6%. it came down to 8.9%. as you know now, unemployment is at 8.1%. there's still that issue there. also, home sales. home sales have been -- the lowest since -- in five years. that's the lowest in a decade. so there's that. and then also american are -- are on food stamps more. they're getting food stamps more. so -- there's -- they're definitely -- it's fragile economy that's happening now. there are some issues, but it's slowly coming back as economists say. >> trying to watch the trends in the right direction. the big trend, though, as we mentioned, the iphone 5. everybody want one.
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they're the hot ticket now. >> i'm surprised you're not on the iphone 5 yet. >> no. i'm a blackberry guy. so the phone itself beat expectations for apple? >> not only beat expectations, they're expecting eight million iphones to sell this weekend alone. so -- in the presales, there are about two million that were sold on line. and like apple, this iphone is a high margin product. what that basically mean is that it costs very little to make, but it makes a lot of money for the company. that comes about half of apple's profits come from iphone sales. now 3.2 billion dollars is expected to rejigger the economy from apple sales. that is about the economy of fiji alone. if that tells you anything. >> and last but not least, tell us about some of the hot toys, not the iphone 5 certainly a hot toy for adults. but for kids for the holiday season? >> toys 'r' us came out with their hot list. some of the products on it
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included the wee u. hasn't been priced yet. one direction -- band one direction collector dolls. and hot wheels terrain twister, and the la-la hoopsy silly hair star dolls. that's what they called me in hair and make-up before i came in. they're also doing the retro toys. like the teenage mutant ninja turtle dolls, it's the secrets to a lair product. it's -- you can kind of sleigh people with. and the furby. you remember the furby? that came in in 1995. that was priced out at $35. now it's priced out at $59. >> makes you feel old, that stuff's retro. hate that. thank you very much. we're going to have new numbers out on the unemployment rates in big swing states. what does that say to romney and his message? that and more after this. rogaine? well, i'll admit it. i was skeptical at first. but after awhile even my girlfriend noticed a difference. [ male announcer ] rogaine is proven to help stop hair loss. and for 85% of guys, it regrew hair. save up to 42% now at rogaine.com.
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welcome back to "weekends with alex witt." i'm thomas robert. alex has the day off. the senate passed a stopgap
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$524 billion spending bill to prevent a government shutdown october 1. the measure goes to president obama now for his significant. three wounded victims from the aurora, colorado, shootings in july are now suing the theater owner. they blame cenemark for lax security. the suit says the emergency exit the gunman used should have had an alarm. overseas, a fireball streaked over parts of the great britain. there are videos on youtube of what observers speculate was a meteor. now to a bizarre incident in the netherlands. a riot broke out after a 16-year-old canceled her birthday party. some 3,000 people showed up because she posted the invitation on facebook to friends. they then passed it on resulting in more than 20,000 replies. and the man known as the french spider-man was at it again today. this time climbing a radio tv tower in china that's more than 1,-200 feet tall. and those are your "fast five headlines." there he goes. new polling finds president obama ahead of mitt romney national and in key swing
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states. with 4 days until the election and still a struggling economy a reality, can president obama hold on to the lead? joining subcommittee senior political editor mark murray. good to have you here. national journalal's new poll finds that president obama is leading mitt romney among likely voters 5% to 43%. but the a.p. is finding that this is a much closer race than that. president obama at 47% and mitt romney at 46%. well within the margin of error. how should we read into this. >> well, not every poll is the same especially when measuring likely voters. the preponderance of the polling the last two weeks has shown that president obama has a national and also state battleground lead of about in the mid single digits. and hitting that 50% mark, and hitting 50% like he does in the "national journal" poll and our most recent nbc/"wall street journal" national poll is a good place for an incumbent to be. you certainly want to be at that 50%. that is usually considered safe haven for an incumbent facing re-election.
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>> let's dig in to see how the "national journal" poll is doing its polling. we look at how they broke it down. nonwhite voters, they found 78% are voting for president obama versus 18% for mitt romney. mark, as we consider the demographics of the likely voters, what does that say big picture? >> well, the demographics is a fascinating story in this entire election. and if president obama is getting about 80% of the nonwhite vote, that means that mitt romney has to hold president obama under 40% among the white vote to -- so that obama doesn't hit 50%. so if president obama ends up getting 80% of the minority vote, 40% or more of the white vote, that means that he's going to be at 50% or above. that's a great way to look at this election just by measuring all the demographics and looking at them. >> in the key swing states, the latest nbc news poll looks at colorado, iowa, wisconsin, and look at how these are framing out with the president ahead in
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all three. >> again, hitting that 50% mark. i can't stress enough how important that is. you see in the battleground states of colorado and wisconsin, president obama with a five-point lead. in iowa, a state that had been problematic for obama the past three or four months, up eight points. you're seeing things all breaking in this direction right now with six weeks to go. >> all right. how likely is it that this poll could change as we get closer? this is obviously posts-convention polling. we're now 11 days out from the very first debate. how much wiggle room do you think there is between now and the election for certain places? >> thomas, things can change. particularly with the debates. rim in the 2004 presidential -- i remember in the 2004 presidential contest, at this point in september, george w. bush had a lead around the same size as we're seeing for obama. john kerry used three debates to bring the rate back into a tie. as we saw that 2004 contest was
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decided by one state, ohio, that george w. bush beat over john kerry. so there is a potential for mitt romney to get back in the game. the problem for him is that we're approaching the six-week mark, and time is beginning to run out. he has to start making his move. >> they're going try to reframe the conversation leading into the debates, hopefully to get after the bad weeks that mitt romney racked up and get the message back on the economy. as we look at the economy, there are several swing states where the individual state unemployment ratsz f-- rates fo august came out. four of the key states had unemployment rates higher than the average in. i'll remind everybody, that's 8.1%. to nevada, over 12%. north carolina, nearly 10%. why aren't these easy wins for mitt romney? the president did carry north carolina in '08. but that's not looking likely this time around. >> you have seen president obama and his campaign particularly in their conventions make the case that this is a choice election and not a referendum.
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and i do think that because they've been able to do that and say that the economy is improving, maybe not fast enough, that i deserve another four years in office. of course, mitt romney's making the argument that things aren't improving fast enough. sometimes it's actually an easier case to make. for mitt romney things are getting worse rather than things aren't getting better fast enough. i think that's why mitt romney is not only just talking about the economy, he's branched out his criticism of obama to national -- to foreign affairs, as well as welfare. other social issues. so i think even the romney campaign has realized that these unemployment rates aren't enough to be able to force president obama out of office. >> mark murray. thank you, good to see you. >> thanks. now we take you to the latest news and analysis on the battle for the white house. you can always check it out yourself by simply going to firstread.nbcnews.com. overnight in libya, protesters and military police ousted an islamic militia from their headquarters based in benghazi. thousands of libyans stormed the
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base, setting fires, forcing the militia to flee. the protesters were supporting the government and denouncing terrorism. many are angry over the group's link to last week's deadly attack on the u.s. consulate. meanwhile, secretary of state hillary clinton reiterated u.s. claims that terrorists are responsible. >> what happened in benghazi was a terrorist attack, and we will not rest until we have tracked down and brought to justice the terrorists who murdered four americans. >> nbc has more live from kabul. atia, what's the latest fallout from the protesters as we're watching, monitoring these from different places? >> reporter: hi there, thomas. well, obviously there's still outrage when it comes to the anti-islamic film and the cartoons that were published in france. as we saw in libya, according to reports, tens of thousands of libyans actually attacked the terrorist group that seems to be responsible for the death of
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four americans on september 11 of this year, including ambassador chris stevens. showing that the libyans were not okay with what they did, for killing those americans, and showing they didn't want to resort to violence on each other. and they wanted to stand in unity with their new government. also, if other countries throughout the middle east and the muslim world, we saw a lot of peaceful protests yesterday. many people were expecting violence. but for the most part, even here in afghanistan, they were very peaceful. many people going on the street, saying they would not resort to violence but instead they are calling -- calling on their own governments to cut ties with america and france, especially here in afghanistan. the one place that we saw a lot of violence, that was across the border in pakistan, at least 15 people were killed in attacks throughout the country, particularly in the city of karachi where 12 people died including three police officers who were trying to hold off the protesters. thomas? >> atia abawi in kabul.
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thank you. congress heading home with unfinished business on the hill that some say could leave america facing a financial crisis. we'll have much more on that coming up. you're watching "weekends with alex witt." does your phone give you all day battery life ?
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by 2025 we could have 20 million jobs without enough college graduates to fill them. that's why at devry university, we're teaming up with companies like cisco to help make sure everyone's ready with the know how we need for a new tomorrow. [ male announcer ] make sure america's ready. make sure you're ready. at devry.edu/knowhow. ♪ welcome back. as it stands now, congress is not going to be dealing with the nation's deficit and the fiscal cliff until after the presidential election. congress recessed yesterday amid talk that perhaps the deadline for those automatic budget cuts could be pushed into next year. that would give congress more time to come up with a deficit-cutting deal. joining us now, democratic congressman john yarmouth from kentucky and house budget committeeman. it's good to have you here. let's get into this because we start with the expectations. what should the american public have expectationwise from
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congress before this election? it seem as if the lights have been turned out and everybody's gone home. >> well, i think it's disgraceful, thomas, that we adjourned. i think it's the earliest pre-election adjournment since 1960. with all of these important issues to be resolved by the end of the year. the fiscal cliff which basically is a combination of the bush tax cuts expiring and a proposed across-the-board -- not proposed, it's a mandated across-the-board cut of about 9% in all discretionary programs in the country is what we have to deal with, along with the farm bill and other items. this fiscal cliff is something that is really holding the economy back. and our republican friends always talk about we need to do away with uncertainty. but they've created this uncertainty by refusing to negotiate essentially what most of us agree on. we all agree, boeing sides agragree -- both sides agree that a massive cut in federal spending
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now would impair the economy. it would destroy jobs. we also agree that we don't want to raise taxes on 98% of the american people. it's that last 2%, people making over $250,000 a year, where -- that is holding the hold negotiating process up. >> so if -- if there is no budge on this, it doesn't seem like as the people are watching this, that we're really going to get anywhere from you and your colleagues on the hill. but i want to get your reaction to what the congressional budget office had to say. the cbo say, "failing to prevent the sharp fiscal tightening at the beginning of the year could push the economy into recession." it is a fragile recovery now. last week the fed chairman ben bernanke warned of the fiscal shock if the fiscal cliff is not dealt with. let's remind everybody. republicans have set the calendar about this adjournment. that's why the lights are out. but what we -- will we see anything, any difference after the elections itself?
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it f that's what we have to wait for, what is the big difference that we're going to see after the election? >> i think the republicans are counting on governor romney winning. if he were to win the presidency, which looks unlikely now, then they would be able to kick the can down the road into next year and be in a much stronger position to resolve the tax issue because they wouldn't face a veto from a president romney. if president obama's re-elected, then they're not in nearly as strong a negotiating position. and i think they're even admitting now that if president obama is re-elected that their hand will be forced and they will have to come off their position on taxes. again, remember this is all about grover norquist and all the republicans who have signed pledges never to raise taxes on anybody, one dime, no matter what. but i think there are a lot of republicans who really are interested in becoming more flexible. and that would be a welcome
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thing for resolving this impasse and also going forward. >> can any deal get done without raising taxes on the -- as we look at this, you know, the only way to -- to get back on track is to cut spending. but also to raise, to raise taxes. so we raised the revenue base of what we're bringing in in d.c. so how do we get this done without raising taxes on the wealthy? >> i don't think we can. you know, we've always advocated a very balanced approach. and we've just asked the very wealthiest americans, the ones -- the only ones really who have done well over the last ten years, to help contribute to this deficit problem. but you -- you mention a very important factor, and the republicans finally admitted it because they say, you know, if you cuts defense spending, you're going to kill jobs. well, if you cut other forms of spending, you also kill jobs. at least they're on the record that way. you've got this double threat to the economy. drastic cuts in federal spending, including defense, and raising taxes on everybody in
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the country which takes consumption money out of the economy. so we've got to get this resolved. i think we can. the lame duck session after the election's going to be a fascinating one. >> yeah. >> again, if president obama's re-elected, he has most of the cards. >> so is it -- is it your suggestion, though, that maybe other millionaires out there can be as kind and generous as out s kind and generous as mitt romney is to overpay their tax rates so that we can get america back on track? >> we don't want them to overpay. we just want the wealth irest americans to pay what they were paying back during the clinton years when we had the greatest economic expansion in history. >> congressman, thank you, sir. i appreciate your time. >> thank you. >> a surge in early voting is expected today. there's one key state where voters still don't know for sure when they can begin voting. we'll tell you where.
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we are talking about rain across the eastern great lakes. it's a cold front that's moving eastward. a round of thunderstorms could affect the northeast late this afternoon and evening. we're still dealing with tropical moisture dealing with heavier downpours. the rest of the country sunny and dry. feeling like fall though especially up through the dakotas. highs only topping out in the 40s and 50s. up the ante. and if you stumble, you get back up. up isn't easy, and we ought to know. we're in the business of up. everyday delta flies a quarter of million people while investing billions improving everything from booking to baggage claim. we're raising the bar on flying and tomorrow we will up it yet again.
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all right. hard to believe 45 days, but the vote is on right now with 13 more states today beginning early or absentee voting. that's in addition to 12 states that have already been allowed to cast votes early. so half of the country can now vote. but in the key battleground state of florida voters still don't know when early voting will begin there. as it stands now, florida voters will have less time to cast those ballots. a judge that presided over the hearing this week, it's not been done. florida's advancement fight will be leading the fight. >> good morning, thomas. >> let's talk about how much early voting has been curtailed. are they really running out of time as we look at this with fewer days to be able to be involved? >> what's happened in florida is they've cut back the number of days of early voting, but also very important is they cut out that last sunday before election day, which was known by the
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african-american churches as souls to the polls where after church they would go down to the polling place and vote in unity. and we know that over 50% of the ballots cast by african-americans in the state of florida were cast during early voting. but here we have florida making it harder to vote. instead, we need to have voting that is free, fair, and accessible. >> when we talk about sundays being eliminated, why do we need to eliminate voting days in certain states? what's the point? >> unfortunately, i wish i had an answer for that, thomas. you know, we need to make voting more accessible to people and make sure that they have available days. working america needs these extra days because they can't go on that tuesday from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. instead we know what has happened is florida, like other states who pass restrictive voter i.d. laws, really it comes down to politicians who wanted
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to manipulate the laws for their own gain. >> besides florida though, there are more than 20 states right now, judith, with these new voter laws. which ones stand out the most to you, concern you the most? >> well, of course there's pennsylvania with its very restrictive voter i.d. law, which may impact over a million already registered voters in pennsylvania. and, you know, advancement project's been involved in that fight and we have a hearing on tuesday again so that we can make sure that that law is not implemented for november. and many of the other i.d. laws actually we have been able to stop dead in their tracks. and so we're concerned about what is happening in florida because the other thing that's happening is that these states are moving very quickly to purge voters from the list right before the election. again, this is an effort by some politicians to make sure some people don't vote. really who it hits are the
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elderly, it hits african-americans, it hits younger people and also latino voters. >> one interesting thing because in texas the federal judge is overseeing the voter i.d. law in that state said it would be basically a poll tax. it's really interesting to see the fact that the "atlanta" magazine will be looking for voter fraud. we'll see if that pans out. >> thanks so much, thomas. >> that will wrap up this hour with "weekends with alex witt." straight ahead more smart political talk with chris hayes. all by cob. and you...rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle... and go. you can even take a full-size or above, and still pay the mid-size price. i'm going b-i-g. [ male announcer ] good choice business pro. good choice.
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